I just arrived in Cambodia a week ago. I’ve tagged along with Jason and a group of 18 students from Avondale who are training to be teachers. For the next three weeks we are living in an orphanage/school called Wat Preah Yesu (Translated in English as Jesus Temple).
The people who run this orphanage/school for over 300 kids including 120 orphans rely totally on God for everything. This place has a beautiful atmosphere. I think one thing contributing to this atmosphere is that most people who live here recognize that the greatest happiness comes from serving and loving each other and living as a community. Their focus to love and serve for the happiness of us and others humbles me and teaches me so much.
The night we arrived, I realized that the water pump in the house that we (14 girls) are staying was broken. Cambodia is so hot and we were in desperate need of a wash. I asked the family next door, which consists of two house parents and about 14 orphans, if we could use their water pump for the night. They seemed more distressed about the situation then us and totally took on the problem as if it were their own. Soon there was a hub of activity in our bathing area. People were scrubbing and cleaning the bath size basins, getting all the gross stuff out of them, getting dirty and wet. Then they pulled a big hose from their house to fill them up. Not only did they get dirty to give us clean water to bath with, but every day since they have faithfully refilled them for us. Their love has confronted me!
I can feel the love through these people peeling away beliefs, attitudes and ways of thinking that are self-focused, self reliant, and self preserving. There has been many times in my life that I have strived to change and become a better person. I love that it is love that truly makes this change. Love inspires, love frees, love peels off the hard layers. I know that this has definitely been my experience with God. I have never managed to grow or change by striving to be better and please God, or other people. Only revelations of His love have inspired me, freed me and peeled off the hard layers. Love really is the strongest power of all!